Project Description

Saint-Gobain Distribution
has succes with new sales analysis

– Manual work with spreadsheets were
replaced with simple report in IBM Cognos BI

Learn more here

The need for improving the sales analysis was a high priority when the management for Saint-Gobain Distribution Denmark started a new sales and marketing excellence project.

“We operate a business-to-business sales model, and our plumbing and heating division has more than 12,000 customers – ranging from large companies to independent professional craftsmen,” explains Morten Nikolajsen, Sales Director at Saint-Gobain Distribution Denmark. “The large number and varying sizes of customers, combined with the variety of sales channels we use, made it difficult to assess the overall efficiency of our sales processes – especially since our existing sales analysis involved a lot of tedious manual work with spreadsheets.”

Spreadsheets replaced with simple report

Kapacity had previously cooperated with the Saint-Gobain team and had become a trusted partner in software solutions. Now the sales proces had to be optimized from start to end, and an important part of the project was to create more sophisticated sales analysis capabilities by expanding its existing IBM Cognos Business Intelligence solution.

Working with Kapacity the Saint-Gobain team designed a sophisticated sales analysis solution that gives sales teams game-changing insight into their customers at a glance. Instead of complex spreadsheets, the solution uses IBM Cognos Business Intelligence to generate a one-page report on each salesperson’s customers, and displays it via the user’s standard Lawson CRM interface.

The customer is plotted in three dimensions:

  • Size, in terms of volume of sales
  • Loyalty, in terms of actual sales compared to predicted sales
  • Cost of selling

Available analysis of customer behavior

Especially cost of sales is a key differentiator for SaintGobain, because it enables the company to preserve profit margins by persuading or incentivising customers to change their purchasing behaviours.

“As one example, many small companies tend to over-order and then return the products that they don’t need. The returns process is very expensive to manage, so we need to discourage this kind of behaviour in order to preserve our profits. Another example might be the way that the customer places their orders: if they do it online via our web shop, the cost for us is minimal; but if they visit one of our stores, the cost is higher. Equally, if they often order custom components that we have to source especially for them, or if they have unusual delivery requirements, this can also increase the cost of sales,” says Morten Nikolajsen.

Now Saint-Gobain use the IBM Cognos solution to measure all of these factors and give each customer a score that relates to their cost of sales, compared to the average.

“We now have instant access to the latest sales information, updated on a daily basis, and available whenever users want to see it,” comments Nicolai Riisager, Business Analyst. “We no longer have to rely on the knowledge of individual salespeople about how we should handle a customer.”

A new and vital work routine

In the first month that the new solution was live, each salesperson used the new report an average of ten times.

“The report was immediately an important part of their working routine. We are still in the early stages, but over the next few months we expect to see significant benefits, particularly in terms of reducing cost of sales,” Nicolai Riisager says.

And Jesper Clausen has only positive feedback about the cooperation with Kapacity:

”Kapacity’s technical skills are first-class, and they have a very good project management approach, especially in terms of change management and knowledge transfer. Thanks to Kapacity, we have been able to build a sales analytics solution that meets all our corporate objectives.”

About Saint-Gobain Distribution Denmark

Saint-Gobain Distribution Denmark, part of the Saint-Gobain group, is a specialist in the wholesale distribution of equipment and tools for the Danish construction and plumbing industries. The company has its headquarters in Brondby, employs 1,400 people, and operates 60 sales outlets and 10 warehouses across the country.